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I searched for this answer in the forum but I didn't come up with anything (in some cases too many results!), so forgive me if this question has already been answered.

Can someone recommend an ecommerce pdf distributor that they have had good experience with? I'm mainly looking for a company or software to install that handles the email distribution (or a unique link for the buyer to pick up the file), and I may be able to code the payment options like Paypal and Google Checkout.

Haven't done this before so hoping to get it right the first time around. If anyone has done this, do you have any tips or suggestions to offer?

Thanks in advance! This is a great community and I've already learned so much just browsing the site.

-f

Tags: ecommerce, pdf, selling

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While I prefer having hard copies of things (zines, books, comics, the like) I know lots of people do like electronic versions. I've even had people ask if my zine was available online in PDF format, so I know where you are coming from.

I never looked to charge for a PDF version though, mainly because I don't care to turn a profit. I give it away free. I'm probably selling myself short here.

Let me know if it works out for you. :)
Rick Bradford said:
I greatly prefer paper zines and have zero interest in reading from a PDF but I'm not so sure they're of the devil. It's funny how folks can be so opposed to e-zines while reading blogs and posting on message boards...

i think the distinction with this is that people who make e-zines sometimes like to call them zines and this really bothers some zinesters (myself included) because they are completely different things.

And zines and e-zines are different than blogs and message boards because the first 2 are (usually) a representation of a single point in time and once it's published, the words don't change. Blogs and message boards are forms of ongoing discussions and are constantly changing. Comparing e-zines to blogs and message boards is like comparing apples and oranges.

while i personally would never distribute a pdf of a zine i still had in print, I like the idea of archiving zines in digital format like what QZAP (http://www.qzap.org/v6/index.php) and the Digital Fanzine Preservation Society (http://digitalfanzinepreservationsociety.blogspot.com/) are doing.
My zines are only distributed via PDF format- mostly because it's a quicker, easier, cheaper option for me.

You could try going through Lulu- I've known a lot of people who sell comics and books in .pdf format through there. If you want a more independent option though, I would guess that setting up your own website and selling your zine through there might work best. I know there's a thread on this board about Wordpress and selling though there, but places like Etsy or Weebly could also work.

I mostly create and distribute my zines without a distributor so I don't know any companies that specialize in it.
i think the distinction with this is that people who make e-zines sometimes like to call them zines and this really bothers some zinesters (myself included) because they are completely different things.

Truthfully, that part bothers me too, although I can understand the temptation (and it's probably the wave of the future). But the vibe I sometimes get from folks is that an "e-zine" just isn't lo-fi enough to be called a zine or it's not "real" because it's not on paper. It just seems like a funny notion to read on the internet. But I do get the preference of paper over pixels (I'm a comics guy but I can't get into webcomics).

And zines and e-zines are different than blogs and message boards because the first 2 are (usually) a representation of a single point in time and once it's published, the words don't change. Blogs and message boards are forms of ongoing discussions and are constantly changing. Comparing e-zines to blogs and message boards is like comparing apples and oranges.

I think this is arguable but I know what you're saying. I think I tend to think of online content as static + letters of comment. Or something.

None of which, of course, helps out with the original question. Sorry, fLee!
You don't have to use ejunkie. They have a free version called fatfreecart that's just lovely. And wordpress has plugins that are free also.

fLee said:
Thank you S.M! e-junkie looks really great. No transaction fees, just a monthly. $5/mo is the lowest pricing. Anyone who is interested, the pricing and info is here: http://www.e-junkie.com/ej/pricing.htm Much appreciated.
I don't think e-zines "are the devil". In fact I'm trying to investigate them, but haven't had much success, as I've run into technical snags. I've printed out and read Zine Thug and Zine Dump without any trouble. If there were an easily readable/printable guide to e-zines like Zine World, I might take a look at it. So far I haven't been able to find it, though I can't say I've worked that hard on it.

I'm pretty sure I started a discussion here about printing out, old archived zines---mainly my difficulty in printing out digests & other non-standards. (Was it erased? By a member?) I didn't get much relevant feedback.

Here are some earlier relevant comments:

http://wemakezines.ning.com/forum/topics/do-you-download-zines

http://wemakezines.ning.com/forum/topics/create-zines-from-online

MY QUESTIONS: Can on-line zines (scanned/archived) be printed out? Always? Sometimes? Seldom? Has ANYONE ever done this? ANYONE ever had any TROUBLE doing this? Would you say someone with limited internet skills would probably have trouble printing such a zine out? What about NON-STANDARD sizes (that so far I've never been able to print right---pagination mess-ups).

Derek,
I've just been to the DFPS website. I'm at the library with a double-sided printer option and high-speed. I tried to bring up a zine but couldn't figure out how to do. I wanted to see if I could print one out. Is that technically possible, or are we expected to just read them on-screen? That wouldn't be fun for me.

Rick,
You perceive a certain elitism to paper-purists. There may be some truth in that. But what I perceive is a certain tacit dismissiveness from the e-zine/Internet-enthusiast crowd toward zines and those who much prefer to read them in paperform. It's not gross, and may not be deliberate. It's sort of like an encroachment, where 3, 4, maybe 5 years down the road, We Make Zines will be de facto about e-zines, and live-journal, and wordpress, with no memory of the change in meaning. If there were some lone vestige of the papernet that remained on it, and anybody even "understood" what s/he were talking about when s/he asked if s/he can print some e- or archived zine out that was mentioned, it'd be seen as a silly eccentriciy and, at best, ignored.

Again, I think papernetters have gone much further than hardcore internetters in trying to meet the new technology half way. My perception is that the papernet is increasingly ignored, except as a piety now and then.

Could I be being oversensitive? Over-protective of the "zine concept". Maybe. I'm working on getting away from that reaction. But I think I may be speaking for a sizable minority when I have this sense as an old-schooler as being a little ghettoized.
A few minutes after I posted my last comment, I was able to download and print out a 1994 issue of Outback, double-sided. It was pretty easy and it came out double-sided. But this was standard-sized. Maybe I'll play around with it a little more and see if I can do a digest or other non-standard size.
Some Sf fanzine folks use pdf to put exact copies of their paper fanzines online. It makes it easier for overseas people, with postage and all that. They're available at http://www.efanzines.com/ but they tend to be free, not for payment.
Just a few comments on the site, which I went to and clicked around on. I printed out the whole thing.

I tried to view e-APA, but apparently it's password protected. I don't really want to join, so I don't really want to go through the time and effort of registering, and even if I did, this often turns into a futile rigmarole. I was able to view all the other e-zines, but not being that much into the sci-fi fan culture or genre, I was really interested in printing them out. Are there e-zines on libertarianism, veganism, Theravada Buddhism? What other subjects are there e-zines on?

I looked at The Futurian, and it said it was issue 1, and had been printed in the 40's. The masthead looked like it might have been from the 40's, but the text definitely looked word-processed. Not criticizing, just an observation.

I see a few zines by fellow "luddite" Rodney Leighton that look entirely scanned from zines that he's sent me himself. So I guess scanned zines are considered a form of e-zines.

Maybe since they're all sci-fi oriented, there's not much need, but it would be nice if there were some brief description of what the zine is generally all about. Not necessarily each issue, but just the zine itself.

This doesn't have anything to do with this site, but I tried printing Chris Lentil's ALLiance #4 (see members, this site), and was told I would have to register with Scribd. I don't want to do that. Another rigmarole. There's often a lot of tech-talk that I don't get that well, that's a barrier to opening and/or printing documents/e-zines too.

So sometimes e-fanzines aren't too inconvenient and sometimes they are. But as I have the time and interest, I may play around with them, and maybe they'll become easier.

Eunice said:
Some Sf fanzine folks use pdf to put exact copies of their paper fanzines online. It makes it easier for overseas people, with postage and all that. They're available at http://www.efanzines.com/ but they tend to be free, not for payment.

Because it's about a Zine.  
Derek Neuland said:

how is this zine related?

I make the Zine for my group (www.facebook.com/FINDfeminism) and we're using PDF to distribute for FREE internationally. We love trading actual copies via mail and I personally am collecting copies by trade. However, since we're not charging, doing PDF is the most cost efficient way to distro for free. We stand by the idea that we should all use technology to spread raw, real voices worldwide. The media is simply failing us at this point. We use our zine as a vessel to get truth on the streets, so the cheaper, the better. And to email it by PDF to a mailing list is very easy!

I think there is room for pdf or ezines and paper zines. I don't know if I would pay for a pdf zine, but I did pay a dollar or two for a kindle comic zine and I was happy with the deal. Besides a person can always print the pdf if they don't want to read on the screen.

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